The fall is my favorite time of year, particularly in the Hudson Valley, so it seemed natural to set my book, Come to Take Me Back, in September and October. Many of the key events occur between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and my research into the Jewish holidays illuminated a number of themes in my story.
In particular, I was struck by Rabbi Jack Riemer's lovely meditation, known popularly by its first line, the title of this post. In it, the rabbi talks about the autumn as a time for "turning": the leaves turn, the animals turn back to their homes in preparation for winter, and so must we turn and change for the better before the new year begins.
As a former teacher, the fall has always felt like the beginning of the year for me (even now, out of the classroom!). We begin with newly sharpened pencils and clean notebooks, each September a fresh start. And what better gift--the chance to begin again? And as the leaves turn, so do we.